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Blackhawks Prospect Updates: Slaggert, Commesso impressing in NCAA

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Two of the Blackhawks’ mid-round picks in the 2020 draft are having terrific freshman seasons

NHL: JUL 17 Blackhawks Development Camp
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Evan Barratt participates during the Chicago Blackhawks Development Camp
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the latest update on Blackhawks’ prospects, two could-be players — both drafted in the 2020 NHL Draft — are having impressive starts to their Freshman seasons in the NCAA.

Drew Commesso has three wins in the last four games with the Boston University Terriers, with their only loss seeing Commesso come in as relief. He had a .946 save percentage with 105 stops on 111 shots in those four games, which brings his season mark to a .923 save percentage and a 6-1-0 record. Commesso was the second goaltender off the board in the 2020 NHL Draft (46th overall) behind Nashville’s first-round pick of Iaroslav Askarov (11th overall).

Closer to Chicago, Landon Slaggert is having a great start to his college career as well with Notre Dame. Slaggert is riding a three-game point streak with the Irish, scoring two points in each of those games — including five assists. Slaggert has 19 points in 22 games. He was drafted 79th overall by the Blackhawks in the 2020 draft.

Elsewhere:

Lukas Reichel, F (DEL)

Lukas Reichel saw his point streak come to an end but now has 17 points in 20 games. That includes three points — all assists — in his last two games. He’s currently the first-line center with Eisbaren Berlin.

Rockford IceHogs (AHL)

In the AHL, the Rockford IceHogs are off to a rough start with a 1-6-1 record, most recently losing to the Cleveland Monsters 6-3. The IceHogs saw the second game of that back-to-back set postponed. Tim Soderlund and Evan Barratt both had three-point games on Feb. 23 as Isaak Phillips had a two-point game including a goal, his second in six games. Andrei Altybarmakyan scored his first AHL goal in that game as well.

MacKenzie Entwistle and Wyatt Kalynuk each have two points in the IceHogs’ last three games. Alec Regula and Matej Chalupa each have a goal and Nicolas Beaudin an assist. In addition, a timetable for the return of Michal Teply to the IceHogs was set for mid-March by Rockford head coach Derek King.

Dominic Basse, G | Slava Demin, D | Josiah Slavin, C (NCAA)

Dominic Basse had a rough two games as he gave up four goals on Feb. 20 to St. Cloud State and then five goals to Denver University. He saw his save percentage drop to .895 on the season through 17 games. Teammate at Colorado College Josiah Slavin had an assist in the set against Denver and remains a contender for the Hobey Baker.

Slava Demin, who plays for Denver, scored an assist in that two-game stand. Demin also got some time on Denver’s top pair in that set.

Ivan Nalimov, G (AHL)

Ivan Nalimov has is expected to come over from Dinamo Riga to the Rockford IceHogs after his deal was terminated in Russia, according to a report from Scott Powers of The Athletic. Should he arrive, Nalimov will be in competition with Collin Delia (down in Rockford for a conditioning assignment) and Cale Morris, in the AHL long term, for the starting net.

Niklas Nordgren, RW | Antti Saarela, C (Liiga)

Niklas Nordgren was transferred back to HIFK of the Finnish Liiga after putting up three points — all assists — with the Pelicans of the same league. Nordgren has played two games with HIFK this season but hasn’t scored a point.

In the same league, Antti Saarela has 12 points in 38 games with Ilves. He’s playing as the third-line center on that team. He’s now on a two-game point streak after scoring an assist on Feb. 27 after a 20-game scoreless streak and adding a goal on March 2.

Alex Vlasic, D | Jake Wise, C | Wyatt Kaiser, D (NCAA)

Alex Vlasic has one assist in his last two games after missing a two-game stand. He finished February with three goals and that assist. Jake Wise, his BU teammate, played his first game since Jan. 9 on Feb. 27 but was without a point. The Blackhawks’ 2018 third-round pick continues to struggle with injuries.

Wyatt Kaiser is also getting some time on the first pair with University of Minnesota Duluth. He has played just one game in the last two weeks and went without a point in that contest.

Artur Kayumov, LW (KHL)

Artur Kayumov went scoreless in his last six games for the regular season. He finished with 29 points in 57 games with one goal in eight games in February. The Gagarin Cup playoffs start March 3 and Kayumov will be playing third-line minutes with HC Lokomotiv, who have a first-round matchup with Jokerit.

Louis Crevier, D (QMJHL)

Crevier has three goals in his last three games with Chicoutimi Sagueneens. The Blackhawks’ 2020 7th round pick (No. 188 overall) now has 10 points in 20 games as a defenseman in the QMJHL. Crevier had 21 points in 59 games last season and is on track to have a much better third season in the QMJHL.